The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won their fifth title with a thrilling last-ball victory over the Gujarat Titans (GT) in an Ahmedabad-area final that was postponed due to rain. With the victory, CSK equaled Mumbai Indians’ (MI) record for most successful team in tournament history.
After a respectable run in the competition, the Lucknow Supergiants (LSG) also had an impressive season and finished fourth. They made it to the playoffs for the second time in as many seasons before losing to MI in the Eliminator by an embarrassing 81-run score. The team will want to improve on their fourth-place finish this year and build on their performance this year.
Throughout the tournament, the bat and ball performances of the players from both teams were exceptional. Both teams played on slow, spin-friendly surfaces in Chennai and Lucknow, highlighting the similarities in their lineups. In light of this, let us select the LSG and CSK combined XI based on how well they performed in the IPL 2023.
Top Order: Devon Conway, Shivam Dube, and Ruturaj Gaikwad.
In 16 games, Devon Conway scored 672 runs at an average of 51.69 and a strike rate of 139.70. Conway was the foundation of CSK’s batting lineup and gave the team the perfect starts in most games. In the championship match against GT, he scored six half-centuries and won the POTM award. Conway finished the season with the third most runs scored.
Since CSK’s dynamic duo formed a formidable left- and right-handed opening partnership at the top of the order, Ruturaj Gaikwad is the other option for the opening position. Gaikwad scored 590 runs in 16 matches, scoring at an average of 42.14 and a strike rate of 147.50. He finished the season as the seventh-highest run-getter and hit four half-centuries.
In the middle overs, Shivam Dube proved to be the X-factor for CSK and was the ideal aggressor. He scored 418 runs over 14 innings, batting at an incredible strike rate of 158.33 and an average of 38. Throughout the season, Dube scored three half-centuries and frequently played useful, quick knocks that helped propel his team to over-par totals.
Middle order: Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran, MS Dhoni (Captain and Wicket Keeper), and Ravindra Jadeja
Marcus Stoinis scored 408 runs in 15 matches at a strike rate of 150 and an average of 31.38. This was yet another impressive IPL season for Stoinis. He hit three half-hundreds of years, including an unbeaten 89. In his five innings of bowling, the Australian also made useful contributions with the ball, taking five wickets.
Nicholas Pooran scored 358 runs at a stunning strike rate of 172.94 over the course of his 15 games. By making daring cameos for the team toward the end of the innings, the Trinidadian cricketer proved to be the ideal finisher for LSG. Throughout the course of this season, Pooran made two half-centuries, hit 26 fours, and hit as many sixes.
During IPL 2023, MS Dhoni barely got a chance to bat. The legend, on the other hand, was able to make an impression on the few deliveries he received. Dhoni scored 104 runs in just 57 balls at an incredible strike rate of 182.45 and an average of 26. Despite playing aggressively in the final overs, he was only dismissed four times during the competition. Add to this, his dazzling captaincy and wicketkeeping abilities that drove CSK to their fifth IPL title settle on him a programmed decision in the group.
Ravindra Jadeja, CSK’s hero in the championship game, is probably the most important player to keep this team balanced. Jadeja had an excellent season with the bat, taking 20 wickets in 16 matches at a meager economy rate of 7.56 and becoming the competition’s seventh-highest wicket-taker.
He also had a respectable IPL with the bat, scoring 190 runs in 12 innings and remaining unbeaten four times. He batted with a strike rate of 142.85 and an average of 23.75.
Bowlers – Amit Mishra, Ravi Bishnoi, Matheesha Pathirana, and Mark Wood
Amit Mishra is an unexpected pick in this XI over Maheesh Theekshana as the previous turns the ball more and his economy rate and number of wickets per match were superior to the Sri Lankan. The 40-year-old took seven wickets in seven matches at an economy rate of 7.84. On the pitches in Lucknow and Chennai, where the ball turned square, Mishra would undoubtedly be a more difficult bowler to face.
Ravi Bishnoi took 16 wickets in 14 innings at a meager economy rate of 7.74. Bishnoi was economical as well and consistently took wickets for LSG in the middle overs. He is unquestionably one of the world’s best upcoming wrist spinners and has been one of the IPL’s most consistent bowlers over the past few years. It would be exciting to see Mishra and Bishnoi bowl together on the fast tracks in Lucknow and Chennai.
In Sri Lankan cricket, Matheesha Pathirana is widely considered to be Lasith Malinga’s son. During IPL 2023, MS Dhoni gave Pathirana a lot of training, and the results showed. Pathirana took 19 wickets in 12 innings at an economy rate of 8.00, almost exclusively in the final overs. One of the most exciting fast bowlers in white-ball cricket at the moment is the 20-year-old.
Mark Wood was among the most deadly pacers in this release. He took a remarkable 11 wickets at an economy rate of 8.12 in just four matches. DC was stopped by a 5-fer by Wood. Beyond the four matches he played, LSG greatly missed his presence. Wood departed early to deliver his second child.